Tanner Morgan is Overrated

PMWinSTP

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ZA hurt his ankle in like the second play of the Miami OH game. Never was the same, for every game he remained the starter. It finally got so bad against, was it Nebraska? Had to bench him, Morgan has been the starter since.
If getting an abdominal injury causing him to leave the game, and then going to the hospital because of that injury is being benched, then, yeah, ZA got benched.
 

idagopher

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this season is mostly over already, nothing really to play for anyway, give all the players some time (more time) including QB's, RB's and Rcvrs.
 

die hard gopher

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I’m not following you here. Annexstad didn’t exactly light it up in his (true freshman) playing time. Is this more of a hope than a fact?

TM2 hasn’t been on target this year but Bateman hasn’t looked the same either. Several dropped passes by different receivers/RB last night. He’s been under more pressure this year which will screw with any QB. Now I’m hearing a potential shoulder issue which will affect anyone. Way too soon to get out the hook unless his shoulder is affecting his motion.
Yes, Annexstad was not good as a freshman and Tanner was better but if you took Tyler and Rashod away from Tanner as a freshman but Annexstad still had those two, Annexstad would look better than Tanner IMO.

Again, I am only saying this to illustrate how I believe Tanner benefitted from Rashod and Johnson more than Johnson and Bateman benefited from Tanner and the hypothetically the backup QB with the starting g WR’s is a deadlier combo than the starting QB with the backup WR’s.
 

MNVCGUY

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Some of the NFL talk with Morgan was definitely premature but he was amazing last season. He is struggling so far this year, could be many things to blame for it but he is not playing at the same level as he did in 2019.

He doesn't look comfortable out there. Could be do to the new playbook, personnel, protection.....as fans we will really have no way of knowing. The offense is missing the spark it had last year when it was one of the most explosive units in the conference.

Morgan seems laser focused on getting the ball to Bateman. What I would love to know is if that is because the other guys just aren't getting open or if that is just how he is reading things. When Bateman does catch it you usually see a bunch of defenders in the area, meaning there should be 1 on 1 matchups elsewhere on the field. To this point we are not exploiting them.

The pick Morgan had on the deep throw to Bateman was very concerning because it was just a horrible throw. He avoided plays like that for the most part last year. I do wonder if he is dealing with an injury of some kind because se seem very reluctant to throw deep at all this year.
 

short ornery norwegian

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In any other sport, if one of your starters is struggling, you take him out of the game. Let him collect his thoughts, talk to the coaches, and maybe get a different perspective while watching the game.

but in football, for some reason, if you pull the Starting QB, it's a sign of weakness. It will "cause him to lose confidence."

yeah, like leaving him out there to play poorly is going to help his confidence?

I don't get it. never have. never will.

bottom line - if the level of play Morgan provided on Friday is the best the Gopher can expect from any QB on the roster, they are BLEEPIN' SCREWED!!!
 

LakevilleBro

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Something is different with Morgan this year. Anyone else notice that on passing plays, Morgan starts to back up, before the ball is snapped? He also locks in his primary receiver and does not look at other options. I do not recall him doing this last year.
 

UncleSam'sMisguidedChild

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Are we really doing this? Are we that spoiled already? Tanner's been pretty good. Not great, that's true. Last night was not pretty, either, but he's still been pretty good.

Remember, last night was how the Gopher's QB play has looked from post-Adam Weber through Leidner until Morgan got the job. Something is "off" this year, but I don't think it's Morgan's ability that is holding them back.
 

Iceland12

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I disagree but acknowledge he has had a terrible year. I think Sanford has messed him up.
Not having Dunlap and Daniel Faalele in front of him has really messed him up. Hasn't allowed the TE to really participate in the Offense either. They've had to stay in there and block.
 

PMWinSTP

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Not having Dunlap and Daniel Faalele in front of him has really messed him up. Hasn't allowed the TE to really participate in the Offense either. They've had to stay in there and block.
Is this serious or sarcasm?
 

PMWinSTP

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Something is different with Morgan this year. Anyone else notice that on passing plays, Morgan starts to back up, before the ball is snapped? He also locks in his primary receiver and does not look at other options. I do not recall him doing this last year.
He did it all three of the nonconference games last year. Same with forcing the ball. It is interesting that at many times yesterday he clearly was locked onto Bateman, but there were also several times where he threw to a different receiver and the replays showed Bateman wide open.
 

Pompous Elitist

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Some of the NFL talk with Morgan was definitely premature but he was amazing last season. He is struggling so far this year, could be many things to blame for it but he is not playing at the same level as he did in 2019.

He doesn't look comfortable out there. Could be do to the new playbook, personnel, protection.....as fans we will really have no way of knowing. The offense is missing the spark it had last year when it was one of the most explosive units in the conference.

Morgan seems laser focused on getting the ball to Bateman. What I would love to know is if that is because the other guys just aren't getting open or if that is just how he is reading things. When Bateman does catch it you usually see a bunch of defenders in the area, meaning there should be 1 on 1 matchups elsewhere on the field. To this point we are not exploiting them.

The pick Morgan had on the deep throw to Bateman was very concerning because it was just a horrible throw. He avoided plays like that for the most part last year. I do wonder if he is dealing with an injury of some kind because se seem very reluctant to throw deep at all this year.
Reminds me of the Randy Ratio. PJF is big on non-contextual statistics. If the coaches are telling TM2 something along the lines of “we get 10+ catches out of RB0 at 15 ypa we win 86% of the time” that could explain the fixation. Or, it could be all TM2 not trusting the other guys, feeling pressure that may or not may be there and rushing his motion. I could also be talking out of my backside. Somethings up and it probably won’t leave the building other than mysterious “insider posts” for a small monthly subscription feel
 

Pompous Elitist

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He did it all three of the nonconference games last year. Same with forcing the ball. It is interesting that at many times yesterday he clearly was locked onto Bateman, but there were also several times where he threw to a different receiver and the replays showed Bateman wide open.
He’s not a perfect QB? 🤷‍♂️
 

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I could have sworn when they went to break after the first quarter you could read Tanner’s lips say, “Ow.” I honestly was surprised there was no mention or injury or taking him out of the game.
 

MNVCGUY

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James Franklin benched Sean Clifford. Frost switched to McCaffrey today. When something is not working, maybe, just maybe, you have to try something else.
The McCaffrey switch basically happened last week and was easy to see coming for a while now.

Most coaches would have pulled their starter during the 4th quarter last night. Not to neccessarily make a permanent change but just to give them a chance to clear their head and not take any more abuse. But as has been discussed, Fleck isn't wired that way and is super hesitant to ever make a QB change.

Morgan had a bad night and hasn't been able to recapture the magic of 2019. Hopefully that still happens here over the next few weeks.
 

hello-world

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Its time someone says it. He has one of the weakest arms in the big ten and below average athleticism. Most passes he completes are RPOs set up by the run game. Does he ever do a traditional drop back and make progressions finding the 2nd and 3rd WR? He has trouble hitting out breaking routes and throws outside the numbers.
The guy had one of the highest passer ratings in college football last year. I don't agree with this take at all. Also, he is nowhere close to the weakest arm in the B1G. He wasn't even the weakest arm on the field yesterday.

Not to mention, he absolutely does not have trouble hitting passes outside of the numbers (at least, any more trouble than a typical college QB), so I'm not sure what you're watching.
 

tmvander

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I honestly wonder if they are telling him who to target on every play. Watch our pass plays (even ones where bateman isn't the target). As soon as the ball is hiked he's locked on to one certain receiver or TE.

I know plays are setup where a certain guy "should" be open under circumstances but it's like he is set in throwing to one guy right off the bar no matter what.
 

Biggsohnasty

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Morgan locked in on primary receivers all of last year just as he is this year. He was never particuarly good at reading defenses and still isn't. He just has even less receiver talent now and opposing defenses have clearly come up with a counter to our bread-and-butter RPO passing game.

Someone said we need to run more slants - that's all defenses are gearing up to stop right now. Everything Morgan throws is within 10 yards of the LOS. I don't know if that is the coordinator not dialing up the right kinds of plays, or if the coordinator doesn't trust the QB to execute anything besides that kind of play, or if the QB literally can't execute something more diverse.

Either way, it doesn't work against competent defenses.
 

MGGopher

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He is dealing with his father's illness and he has shoulder issues. Healthy, he's a top 2-3 B10 QB; he's not healthy. Fleck has to figure out if it's worth sticking with him this year.
This makes a TON of sense. He just looks so different than last year. We'll probably never get a straight answer out of Fleck, so I guess only time will tell.

On the GG podcast, Derek Burns pointed out that last year Morgan was primarily asked to read one defender in RPO, make the decision on whether to keep or give, then throw to the WR who was most likely to be open -- regardless of who it was. This year, the staff is moving Bateman all over the field and apparently asking Morgan to force the ball to him as often as possible regardless of defensive alignment. Let's see if that changes moving forward. Morgan has actually looked best this year when reading RPO. The throws to Daniel Jackson, the slants near the middle of the field, etc.
 

MGGopher

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He is trying his best, but you are seeing his physical limitations when you are up against better teams.
I'm sorry, but this is just not true. Last year against the "better" teams Minnesota played (PSU, Iowa, Wisconsin, Auburn), Morgan threw around (or well over) 300 yards and typically multiple TD's. Minnesota was 2-2 in those games.

I have no idea what's going on this year. Perhaps some of his success last year was due to Tyler Johnson or a better offensive coordinator, but Morgan clearly has the tools to throw successfully against good teams. I personally think he's hurt and Sanford has changed too much in the passing game, but we'll likely never know.
 

Halsey Hall

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I'm increasingly thinking that a lot of his success has come from having 2 NFL WRs to throw to, who have made some crazy individual plays.

He's probably our best QB, and he's at least league average. All accounts have him as a great dude and leader. Not calling for a benching. But the OP has some valid points - an awful lot of his best work has been on:
  • Endless RPO-driven slant passes to TJ and Bateman
  • Deep heave type plays where elite college WRs won individual matchups
Not a ton of depth to his success, such as finding 2nd and 3rd reads and more difficult throws to the perimeter of the field. Arm strength still looks marginal, though he proved last night he can certainly throw it 40 yards.
Yet Zach beat him out when Zach was a pure freshman and then again the next season. Why not give Zach some snaps or he should transfer.
 

Some guy

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I'm sorry, but this is just not true. Last year against the "better" teams Minnesota played (PSU, Iowa, Wisconsin, Auburn), Morgan threw around (or well over) 300 yards and typically multiple TD's. Minnesota was 2-2 in those games.

I have no idea what's going on this year. Perhaps some of his success last year was due to Tyler Johnson or a better offensive coordinator, but Morgan clearly has the tools to throw successfully against good teams. I personally think he's hurt and Sanford has changed too much in the passing game, but we'll likely never know.
The success last year was due to having a really simple reads.
The gophers are running a more complicated offense this year for better or for worse.

morgan should keep playing to get better at it if he is the best quarterback
 

GoldenRowpher

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The ball is coming out late. Last year Tanner was always releasing the ball on time. I think he might be hurt and that would make sense. He looks uncomfortable and a new system might be to blame. I still think the accuracy and talent are there. Yes he doesn't have the strongest arm, but he won 11 games last year breaking records. I'm not done with him, but if he is hurt then #5 needs to get some reps.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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The ball is coming out late. Last year Tanner was always releasing the ball on time. I think he might be hurt and that would make sense. He looks uncomfortable and a new system might be to blame. I still think the accuracy and talent are there. Yes he doesn't have the strongest arm, but he won 11 games last year breaking records. I'm not done with him, but if he is hurt then #5 needs to get some reps.

It's strange because it is coming out late ... on the same passes that worked last year. Not sure I buy into the "system changed" story with those.
 
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